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The RLA is calling for Sajid Javid to release a hard document to be used by renters to confirm immigration status.
It is now a requirement for landlords to check the immigration status of all potential tenants under new rules brought in by Theresa May during her time as Home Secretary. Landlords risk prosecution if they fail to do so.
In a letter sent to the Home Secretary calling for the hard document, which is signed by Residential Landlords Association policy director David Smith, they said: ‘Without issuing a clear and understandable hard copy document to those whose rights would be protected, there is a very real danger of a repeat of the difficulties caused for many in the Windrush generation who were in the country legally but unable to easily prove it. Such a document must be issued now so that, as tenancies come up for renewal between now and next March, landlords can be confident that they can continue to let to EU citizens, even in the event of a no-deal Brexit.’
The Windrush scandal occurred earlier this year, and involved post-war Caribbean migrants with British citizenship becoming swept up in an illegal immigration clampdown amidst May’s ‘Hostile Environment’ policy. Those affected lost access to public services and welfare.
With reference to the letter, a Home Office spokesperson said: ‘EU citizens make a huge contribution to our economy and to our society. The prime minister and home secretary have been clear that – while we are all working hard towards achieving a deal – in the event of no deal, all EU citizens resident in the UK by 29 March 2019 will be able to stay, their rights will be protected and they will be able to live their lives broadly as they do now.’
They continued: ‘In a deal scenario, EU citizens’ rights and entitlements remain unchanged during the implementation period, so they can continue to demonstrate their rights using a passport or national ID card. The draft withdrawal agreement also protects EU citizens and their family members who are resident in the UK before the end of the implementation period and enables them to carry on living here after the implementation period ends.’